Riot police used teargas to disperse some 100 students and parents blocking the entrance of a college north of Montreal on Tuesday, as a student strike in Canada’s Quebec province entered a 14th week.
Authorities also arrested at least five protesters after a tense standoff at College Lionel-Groulx in Sainte-Therese, enforcing a court injunction allowing 53 students to return to classes.
It was the first time that parents have taken part in the demonstrations that have gripped the province for months, culminating on Monday with the resignation of Quebec’s education minister and rising political star, Line Beauchamp.
The 53 students in Sainte-Therese who split with the more than 165,000 still striking over a planned tuition hike of 82 percent or over $1,700 as part of the government’s efforts to rein in a budget deficit were finally able to enter the college midday.
But it was not clear if they or hundreds of others that have sought to return to classes in recent weeks would be able to resume their education as many teachers have refused to go back to work amid the unrest.
After talks with the government broke down earlier this month, students took to the streets, resulting in violent clashes with police and smashed storefronts in Montreal.
Police have started cracking down on the protests across the province, including in Montreal where 19 were arrested on Tuesday for blocking a main bridge to the island city.
Meanwhile, negotiations between student leaders and a new education minister to try to bring an end to the strike were to resume in the evening.
[Riot police used teargas to disperse some 100 students and parents blocking the entrance of a college north of Montreal, as a student strike in Canada’s Quebec province entered a 14th week. AFP Photo/Karen Bleier]